New Market Report: Saudi Arabia Insurance Report Q3 2014

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Jul 29 2014

As of mid-2014, the disappointing underwriting results of 2013 are constraining many of the players in Saudi Arabia's fragmented non-life segment, which accounts for nearly all of the activity. This has implications for the important health insurance sub-sector, notwithstanding official moves to extend the scope of compulsory health insurance. This also has implications for the global Takaful industry, because Saudi Arabia's cooperative insurers, collectively, account for about half of all Sharia-compliant contributions worldwide. Looking forward, we would be surprised if there is not significant consolidation within the fragmented competitive landscape over the course of the forecast period. In the meantime, we expect that life insurance will remain at an embryonic level of development.

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As of mid-2014, the latest results and newsflow from Saudi Arabia's listed insurance companies highlight the weaknesses rather than the (undoubted) strengths of the sector. Growth in gross premiums has been rapid for some, but profitable for few. The actuarial reviews that were mandated by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA - the regulator) last year found that, although many of the players had boosted premiums by increasing prices and rates, the rises were not sufficient given the risks that were being underwritten. Disappointing underwriting results for many of the companies in the non-ilfe segment (where nearly all the premiums are written) has meant that, they have hardly increased business in terms of net premiums earned.

Previously, we had some confidence that non-life penetration would rise quite sharply thanks to the growing acceptance of insurance. Over the last five years, the main catalyst for the development of the sector has been the rise in (compulsory) health insurance premiums, which have had a positive impact on both segments. As is the case with our other insurance reports, we include health insurance in the non-life segment. However,...

The Saudi Arabia Insurance Report has been researched at source and features Business Monitor International (BMI)'s independent assessment and forecasts for the insurance sector. It examines industry developments, key growth drivers and risk management projections, including the macroeconomic situation, government policy, regulatory environment and the level of development and potential for growth, broken down by line. Leading insurers are profiled, covering premiums, products and services and competitive positioning.

BMI's Saudi Arabia Insurance Report provides professionals, consultancies, government departments, regulatory bodies and researchers with independent forecasts and regional competitive intelligence on the Saudi insurance industry.

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